I actually wrote the following in response to another post on this website, but I thought that it might make a good conversation starter, for those who may be interested in such things. This is a slightly edited version of my other post.
If there is one thing that really bothers me, it is when certain preachers take verses from the Bible, and twist their meaning in order to promote their own doctrine or political agenda.
For example, when the Apostle Peter and the other Apostles said "We ought to obey God rather than men" in Acts 5:29, they were in fact addressing the unbelieving Jewish high priests and the other chief priests, who had warned the Apostles to stop preaching in the Name of Jesus. This was a purely religious issue. It was not a political issue. Peter and the Apostles were not advocating fighting against, or taking up arms against, a government. They were simply standing up for their God-given right and obligation to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, come what may. Their obedience to God was more important to them, even more important than persecution and death at the hands of their unbelieving Jewish brethren
The Bible clearly teaches us that we are supposed to obey the laws of the land -- Romans 13:1-8 -- except when those laws prevent or hinder us from preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is precisely what Peter and the other Apostles were doing in Acts chapter five.
Nowhere in the New Testament do the founders of our Christian faith -- Jesus and His Apostles -- advocate taking up arms against any government. Quite to the contrary, Jesus said the following:
"Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
John 18:36, KJV
"Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."
Matthew 26:52, KJV
The Apostle Paul also taught the following in his Epistle to the Roman brethren:
"If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."
Romans 12:18, KJV
Here are a few more verses on this same subject:
"Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."
Psalms 37:8-11, KJV
"Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth."
Matthew 5:5, KJV
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9, KJV
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:"
Hebrews 12:14, KJV
"From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?"
James 4:1, KJV
If there is one thing that the Bible teaches us, and which God has been trying to teach humanity for a very long time, it is that man is not fit to govern himself, because he is not perfect, and he does not possess God's attributes.
People here talk about democracy vs republic, the right to bear arms, etc., but the truth of the matter is that the only government which will ever work, is God's own Government on Earth, in the form of the Righteous Rule of Jesus Christ. All other forms of human government are doomed to failure. God's coming holy, perfect Government is described in this prophecy, where all of the corrupt governments of man are finally crushed, once and for all:
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever."
Daniel 2:44, KJV
So all you folks who talk about the right to bear arms, militia groups, the need to rise up against the US Government, etc., how do you justify your attitude and actions in light of Romans 13? Aren't you in fact disobeying the Scriptures, and the very words of Jesus?
So let me ask you: Do you really believe your Bible, or only the parts that are convenient for you?
Do you believe the Bible when it says that God is the one who sets up leaders?
Consider these verses as proof of this fact:
"Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another."
Psalms 75:5-7, KJV
"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"
Daniel 2:20-21, KJV
"This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men."
Daniel 4:17, KJV
"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will."
Proverbs 21:1, KJV
You Tea Party Republicans don't like Obama, and you Democrats don't like Republican leaders like George W. Bush; but the Scriptural truth of the matter is that God sets up the leaders that the people deserve. The Bible clearly reveals that God will use certain leaders to chastise His wayward children, and no one can deny that at this time, America is a very wayward nation in a moral and a spiritual sense, and really needs some serious chastisement. America has turned into a corrupt, oppressive, warmongering nation, full of sexual immorality, greed, selfishness, ungodly attitudes, etc.
Read your Bibles, folks! God's Word makes it very clear that the Lord will even use our enemies as His instruments of chastisement to punish us when we go astray as a people and a nation. God even called pagan King Nebuchadnezzar His servant, because He used that Babylonian king to punish the wayward, rebellious Israelites.
You can disagree with my views all you want, but I urge you all to be very careful that you don't disagree with or rebel against the truth of God's Word, as I have shared it with you here.
Let's never forget that, as Christians, our Kingdom is NOT of this current world; therefore, we have no business picking fights in this world, taking up arms against any government, joining militias, stocking up guns and other weapons, etc. We are just a passin' through on our way to a much better place -- Hebrews 11:13-16.
I'm done now . . . at least for now.
For a more in-depth look at some of my views -- actually, lots of them -- please visit the Endtime Prophecy Net website at http://www.endtimeprophecy.net
Sir, I likewise respectfully disagree with your position. I have nothing backwards, and I most certainly have not taken John 18:36 out of context.
Your comment regarding pacifism seems designed to infer that those of us who obey the Scriptures by adopting a non-violent, peaceful position, are in some way wrong. I heartily disagree. I have studied the Scriptures for over forty years now. I know what they say. Nowhere in the New Testament teachings will you find anyone -- not even Christ -- advocating that His followers should take up arms.
The fact of the matter is that members of the NRA, so-called Christian militias, etc., cannot point to a single place in the New Testament where we Christians are told to defend ourselves with arms. Quite to the contrary.
As I point out in my articles on the Endtime Prophecy Net website -- http://www.endtimeprophecy.net -- even when Peter tried to defend the Lord by using a sword, Jesus promptly put a stop to it.
The Scriptures I shared in my previous message have spoken clearly. Either we accept their truth, or else we reject it and try to defend our wayward beliefs.
For Bible-believing Christians, God's Word is the Foundation of our faith, and the Sole Authority for our beliefs. If we cannot validate our beliefs and positions with the Scriptures, then we are standing on shifting sand.
Paul, I encourage you to study the history of the Israelites in the Old Testament. There is a lot to learn from it, regarding how God chooses to deal with His people when they are rebellious and fall into sin. You may also want to read my seven-part series "The Fruits of Disobedience" which is available at http://www.endtimeprophecy.net/Articles/fruitds1.html.
In short, if the federal government has become the way that it has, and if it is abusing the American people the way that it is, then you need to recognize that it is by God's Design, in order to chastise and correct His wayward children in America. That is one of the primary lessons of the Old Testament.
Paul, if you disagree with this point of view, then, in essence, you are basically saying that you do not believe the Bible when it clearly informs us that God raises up national leaders, for good or for evil. Even Obama, with all of his ungodly viewpoints and positions, is a part of God's overall design; as was warmongering George W. Bush.
I know that I won't be able to convince you otherwise, nor you, me; so let me leave you with this final thought for your consideration:
". . . Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."
Romans 14:5, KJV
Hi Bill, in your original post you wrote: “I actually wrote the following in response to another post on this website, but ‘I thought that it might make a good conversation starter,’ for those who may be interested in such things.” Well sir, I was endeavoring to respond to you in a friendly manner, knowing that while some might read and give pause for thought most seem not to enjoy entering into such religious banter. I’m not trying to burden anyone with my thoughts but I especially enjoy hearing from someone who has an opposing point of view…. Not that I am willfully contentious but that I truly desire to refine my understanding and nothing quite stimulates thought like a well researched and well presented opposing point of view: “As iron sharpens iron.”
I am now wondering if perhaps you weren’t actually interested in meaningful dialogue…. I’m thinking perhaps you were just looking for a place to monologue. If so that’s fine I truly understand time constraints etc. but, if not…well then; I too have studied Scripture for many decades. I have been a church going person the bulk of my life since childhood. I have been a committed Christian the majority of my adult life. Over the decades I have indulged in much fasting and prayer with weeks of fasting and many all night prayer meetings. As the Apostle Paul might say: “I think I too have the Spirit of God.” Bill, I do understand “…Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.” I heard that verse often as I was growing up being quoted by my father. My father was a pastor with a Th.D. He too seemed frustrated when people didn’t seem to understand what he thought was obvious…. Yet, he remained kind and reasonably sensitive to opposing points of view. Say what we will, some scriptures are clear and their imperatives undeniable: some, for various reasons; are not….
I do not doubt the faith of the founders when it comes to their Christianity. Yet in many cases they took up arms and fought and died for religious freedom against an arrogant king who would dictate even how God would be worshipped. No doubt many in that time frame disagreed, refused to take up arms yet, I suspect, quietly thanked God for the religious freedom that resulted from our “War of Independence.” For what it is worth I have no trouble believing that the people on both sides of that issue were actually following the will of God FOR THEM! I do not assume that what was God’s will for me twenty years ago is God’s will for me today, (obedience to the clear tenor of Scripture as regards morality etc. aside). I do not always assume that what is right for me is right for someone else.
Although I am not elderly, I am old enough to have made some observations about human nature, most particularly where it involves the concept of God, Godliness and obedience to Scripture. As I see it, part of the inference of Ro. 3:23 “All of sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” is that our separation from God has resulted in the cultivation of an ego-centric approach to God, to Scripture and to our fellow man that not only leads us to insert our own personal bias into various issues but also just naturally assumes the correctness of our own position—for ourselves and everyone else! I’m not saying we have evil intent to deceive or to defraud, I’m just saying that the natural egoism resulting from the fall presents mental and emotional hurtles that we must overcome if we are to be Christ-like. In other words I understand, at least intellectually that I am to be “Christocentric” not “egocentric,” if I am to become Christ-like and IF I am to properly interpret Scripture. It seems obvious to me that the more of the world that is in me the more of the world will pop up in my hermeneutics and homiletics!
I do, most assuredly see the depths of sin that America has fallen into. I want to believe that 2nd Chronicles 7:14 applies to our current situation. I am praying for America and its people. I hope you are too. I have visited and bookmarked your website for future reference. You need not respond.
Be blessed Bill, I do deeply appreciate what you are doing….
Bill, I do wish to continue this but I'm thinking that we should not use this forum which has been set aside primarily for current political events. I wish to seek a different venue for further discussion if you are willing.
Paul, I also operate the Endtime Prophecy Net Messageboard. If you wish to continue this discussion there, then please proceed to:
Let me advise you though that I have been struggling to release a new series since September, regarding the Comet Elenin/Nibiru craze. I earnestly desire to complete this series soon, as it has already been delayed too long.
All that to say this: if you do join the EPN Messageboard, my response time may be a bit slow. To be honest, even participating here has taken small chunks out of my busy schedule.
Bill, the right to bear arms or form a militia is not to "rise up against the US government," but to defend the rights endowed to us by the Creator through the Constitution. As Paul stated, we are the government.
Instead of arguing the meaning of many Biblical quotes to debate the 2nd Amendment, I like to use the hypothetical example of a neighbor being attacked by another person in a manner that implies disastrous consequences for the victim without immediate action (not waiting for 911 responders to show up). I don't think any Biblical quote we might wish to use would advocate doing nothing. Some might choose to use a lethal weapon, some might choose something less-than-lethal, and some might choose words (screaming, preaching?) -- it doesn't really matter, because they are all "weapons" or "arms" of some sort. Didn't Jesus stop the stoning of a prostitute by using His words? If the people didn't listen to Him, would He have just walked away? He might have placed Himself in the middle, but that would only last so long in our case. Couldn't it be argued that using a weapon in defense of an individual, or many individuals (by defending the Constitution), whether it's by an individual or the militia, is essentially the same thing?
Evil will always exist on this planet as long as humans are here implement it's will. I hardly think the grand scheme was for humanity to just basically throw in the towel here and look forward to the afterlife.